Theme: “Empathy: Walking in Another’s Shoes”
When planning your submissions, try to think about the following keywords and questions related to the theme. Please note that the keywords and questions are meant to help you start thinking on the theme. However, they shouldn’t limit your thoughts as the theme can mean a lot more those elements. Therefore, when composing your work, feel free to be creative. Just remember you want to present your ideas in a way that will inspire the reader to think and become aware of the importance of the theme.
Take a look at this video from Bené Brown:
Keywords & Key concepts:
• Warm glow altruism vs. Effective altruism
Some questions to focus on
• What is the nature of empathy?
• Empathy is usually described as “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.” Can you think of other examples that capture what empathy means to you?
• What is the difference between empathy and sympathy?
• How do empathy and compassion relate to one another?
• Do different countries and cultures experience or employ empathy differently than Canada?
• Think of how the refugee crisis was dealt with in Canada vs. in Europe. Do you think there was a big difference? Did empathy play a part?
• How can we use empathy to better improve relations between Indigenous communities in Canada, and the Canadian government and non-Indigenous peoples?
• Do you think we need more or less empathy in Canada?
• Can empathy make us more vigilant to the conditions of vulnerable sections of our society?
• What about the lack of care for the elderly, at risk youth, people with disabilities, or racial minorities?
• What role do you think empathy plays in imported conflicts when newcomers arrive in Canada?
• Do you think empathy afforded by distance can give people a different perspective on imported conflict when living in Canada?
• How do we balance rational action with empathy?
• What if empathy makes us focus on the suffering of people (in famine or poverty for example) rather than providing concrete solutions? Can one lead to the other?
• Do you believe empathy can help communities who are at risk of environmental problems? Can we use this concept to advocate that a safe environment is a human right?
• How can we use empathy and compassion when addressing the environment?
• How can we use empathy to gain more respect for living things when it comes to biodiversity and loss of habitat?
• Take a look at this video. Do you agree with their findings? Do you think there’s still an important place for empathy?
• Do you think if we collectively had more empathy as a society there would be less persistent social problems?
• What about the other side that is presented in the link from The Atlantic?
• Think of how having empathy for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women might push public support and vigilance for the inquiry?
• Do you think this video and the one presented at the beginning are talking about the same concept of empathy? Why is there a difference between the two findings?
• What if we look at the way we use empathy interpersonally vs. how we use it for big social issues?
• How do you engage with empathy in your daily lives? Do you prefer to give to charities or to volunteer for them? Do you agree with the conclusion presented in the video?